Over the years several publications have attempted to rank the One Direction videos and crown the best of a great bunch. There is definitely a lot to consider — each video clip that the photogenic guys have released since their 2010 debut has had its own charm and distinctive flavor.
From the fireside, middle-of-the-woods, camping vibe of “Gotta Be You,” where everyone is wearing cuddly scarfs and the talented cameraman takes his time to pan over the faces of the hotties one by one, ever-so-slowly and languorously, as that echoing “hey hey” interlude sounds in the background, to the spirited action of “One Way Or Another,” where the guys bond adorably with Ghanaian kids before returning to British shores to upset the morning ritual of David Cameron, to the lazy intimacy of “Little Things,” to the hotel horseplay of “Perfect,” to the epic bit at the end of “You and I” when Louis’ booted balloon nearly whacks Zayn in the head, to the intergalactic super-achievement of “Drag Me Down,” which sees the handsome foursome shooting into space in a NASA ship, the One Direction video back-catalog truly has something for everyone.
It is no wonder that three separate attempts by different media outlets to rank the best One Direction videos yielded three different no.1 selections. Here we analyse their choices.
- Billboard and “Kiss You”
Billboard was one of the mags Zayn Malik spoke to when he made those not-so-flattering remarks about the band and moaned a bit about his time in One Direction. To honor the release of “Drag Me Down” in 2015 Billboard took the time to rank all the 1D videos and dubbed “Kiss You” the best, citing its fun vibe and the way it showcases “the likable chemistry” between the One Direction bandmates.
Little did Billboard know that five months later Zayn would be talking to one of their peeps saying that being in 1D wasn’t always quite as much fun as it looked.
“The boys become the movie star fantasy of every teenage dream in a silly video that helpfully remembers that boy bands are suppose to be fun. And fun is clearly the center of this Take Me Home track, in scenes that find the guys rocking out in prison, on a ski slope, and surfing a wave as the likable chemistry between the five is on display.”
Of course, none of this takes away from the splendor of “Kiss You,” which opens with Zayn on a motorcycle before taking the viewer through an Elvis-themed “Jailhouse Rock” scenario, a surfing set where we get to see Louis before he got his tatts, Harry about halfway along his present-day ink journey, and Zayn in floaties (the Bradford hunk reportedly cannot swim), and a skiing scene where everyone is wearing Christmasey printed jumpers in a style they would revisit for the Text Santa charity much later. And who could forget Zayn giving Harry that kiss at the end, or the gloriously uninhibited and joyous spot of dancing from Louis Tomlinson at 1:32?
2. Popcrush and “What Makes You Beautiful”
Popcrush has gone for an oldie but a goodie. Such is the appeal of the “What Makes You Beautiful” beach scenario that it was even rumored that One Direction would revisit the same beach to film their final video, “History,” in 2016.
Justifying their choice, Popcrush cites young Harry’s great energy, the cute and excited vibe of the newly-formed band, the fact that they had no idea that they would go on to sell out stadiums and break records, the rare chance WMYB affords to see Harry Styles in ill-fitting trousers, and the sheer, mighty power of nostalgia.
“There is truly something to be said for nostalgia. The truth is, there is nothing remarkable about this video. But for many of us, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ was the beginning of it all and the end of our sanity.
“The boys (because they were, at the time) are all varying levels of awkward, but it’s endearing and cute and they’re all so excited to be in sunny Los Angeles. Do you see Harry? Gravity can’t even hold him down; he exists only on the balls of his feet for the entirety of the shoot.
“It gets us emotional when we realize that at this point in time they had no idea they would go on to sell out stadiums and unite fans all over the world and be the source of happiness for so many people. If you’re a bird, I’m a bird, you know?
“Looking back, we can’t believe there was ever a time when Harry wore ill-fitting khakis.”
3. Idolator and “Best Song Ever”
For Idolator there is no going past the fun, hotness and sparkle of “Best Song Ever,” in which we get to see the guys demonstrate their acting chops, tear up a dreary office and then strut out onto the stage like there is no tomorrow. “Best Song Ever” is also the closest we’ll ever see (or the closest we’ve seen thus far?) to the guys executing an N*Sync style dance routine, all lined up like traditional boybanders.
“We knew they were aces at music video dress-up, but it’s a nice surprise to see 1D flexing surprisingly strong acting chops, transforming into everyone from a sexy female secretary to a swishy choreographer…Resistance is futile to this song and video, which are so amazing that their release caused Kate Middleton to go into labor. There are no words for this charmer other than ‘oh oh oh’ and ‘yeah yeah yeah,’ but with pop this perfect, do you need any others?”
Do you have a favorite One Direction video?
[AP Photo/Charles Sykes]